How to Create an Official Transcript with Accurate Homeschool Grades

April 29, 2021
Written by:
Guest Author

Guest post by Lee Binz, The HomeScholar

Parents of high school students need to create records that accurately reflect their student, and it can be pretty intimidating at first. You want the transcript to be professional-looking, so it is impressive to the colleges. You need it to be official, so it’s accepted for college or career. You want it to be truthful, with an accurate representation of the student’s performance.

In every state of the nation, and throughout North America, homeschooling is legal, and parents can
create their own transcript. Here’s how to get the job done.

Be a Professional

A professional transcript is one that is made by a professional home educator. Start by taking your job seriously. Obey your state or local homeschool laws carefully, but don’t be confused by the public
education laws that may apply to only public schools. Then take continuing education classes, learning how to homeschool high school and create those records. Don’t just guess, but embrace your chosen vocation and get some on-the-job training. Take this free class, A Homeschool Parent’s Guide to Grades, Credits and Transcripts.

Make it Official

An official homeschool transcript has the word “Official Transcript” on the top. While some parents choose to name their homeschool, that’s not required. The title of your document can simply be, “Official Homeschool Transcript.” You can see an example here, Homeschool Transcript Template and Record Keeping Samples. Official does not mean accredited, but there are public and private high school across the nation that are not accredited. When someone requests an “Official Transcript” do not confuse that with an accredited one. It’s extremely rare for a college to require an accredited transcript.

Grade Holistically

Our homeschool grades should not be determined based solely on tests. There are things that teachers in school must do that are unnecessary for us, because they may have so many more students. Understanding this difference will increase the love of learning in your student, improve student compliance, and decrease the workload on parents. Teachers in schools must create tests for literature in order to know the student has read the book. Homeschool teachers can see the student read the book with their own eyes and have a lively dinner discussion on each one. We don’t need tests all the time. Give a grade for each activity or project based on student performance that you see. Give a grade on the transcript that reflects every method you have used for evaluation – including tests, projects, and daily work. Our official transcript grades should be a blended smoothie made from the fruits of their labors. You can ensure that the student learns the material before moving on, which means they will be guaranteed to get excellent and well-deserved grades. If they don’t learn the material, the parent teacher has the freedom to take drastic steps and adjust the situation, expectations, curriculum, or attitude.

Calculate Credits

High school credits are important numbers to include on the transcript. The challenge is that different states have different credit values. Depending on the state, a whole class is 1 credit, 5 credits, or 10 credits. But no matter what state you live in, the method of calculating credits is the same. One whole class means you have used a curriculum that says it’s worth a whole year of high school, and that curriculum was at least 80% completed. If you didn’t use curriculum, then a whole credit class means the student worked for about 120-180 hours. That can be challenging to calculate, but it’s simple to estimate. Estimation means the student worked for 1 hour per day, or 5 hours per week, most of the school year. Like a school measures credit by the number of hours they expect the student in school, we can do the same. Counting in 5-minute intervals is not necessary, and estimating is a completely accurate and acceptable way to calculate credits.

Embrace Homeschooling

Homeschooling through high school can ensure that your child gets the best possible education. While a school teacher is responsible for a whole classroom of students, a homeschool teacher is not weighed down with those responsibilities. We are free to teach our children in the way that fits them best, as a teacher who genuinely knows and loves the child. We can modify our curriculum or change our instruction techniques at any time, without waiting for approval from someone else. We are responsible for the outcome of education, that’s true, but we also have the accountability and authority to ensure the child’s ultimate success. While online or school classes may boast of certified teachers, we are the best teacher for our unique student. Learn tips to help you improve in your job with this free eBook, How to Be a Better Home Educator.

More about the author:

Lee Binz, guest author
Lee Binz, The HomeScholar is a dynamic homeschool speaker and author of Setting the Records Straight: How to Craft Homeschool Transcripts and Course Descriptions for College Admission and Scholarships and The HomeScholar Guide to College Admission and Scholarships. She is an expert on how to craft a winning homeschool transcript and get the big scholarships. Lee understands what it takes to graduate homeschool students who are fully prepared for college and for life. Her practical advice and organized presentations have helped thousands of homeschool parents muster up the courage to complete their homeschool journey. Lee’s mission is to encourage and equip parents to homeschool through high school. You can sign up for her free monthly homeschool e-newsletter at HomeHighSchoolHelp.com, where you can also get a daily dose of high school help. Check out the freebies on the website, with training materials, free classes, and eBooks available for homeschool parents, “Free Homeschool Training.” You can also find Lee on Facebook at Facebook.com/TheHomeScholar.